He finally convinced her to remove her bikini top. It was more of a social experiment than anything sexual. “When in Rome….” as they say, or in this case in the south of France.

It was a gorgeous day. Deep blue skies, the gentlest of breezes and glorious sunshine. As he lay there admiring the view, he almost felt proud that she had loosened up and shed her overly prudish inhibitions. Lying on the Riviera pebbles; toned, tanned and topless.

She had an athletic upper body with pert A-cup sized breasts that paired perfectly with her partially visible six pack. She lay perfectly still with her head propped up on a folded hotel towel, eyes closed as protection from the sun and in part to dissociate herself from her surrounds. He watched her chest rise and fall with hypnotizing rhythmic precision.

He gazed out at the calm Mediterranean Ocean, pulled in by the rhythm of the waves that progressively lapped their way up the beach. Within earshot couples and friends chatted as they soaked up the shy European sun. No one, other than him, appeared to have an interest in her breasts. There they were out for the world to see, and no one else seemed to notice.

Sliding on his sunglasses he casually looked over his shoulder, using the opportunity to scan a group to his right. Early twenties, three men and two ladies, speaking in melodic French. Their body language suggested that there was a couple and three friends. The coupled woman’s poise had captured his attention. “How strange” he thought to himself, to have your girlfriends’ bare breasts on display in front of your mates. He noticed that she had perfectly round and tanned C cup sized breasts. He fought the adolescent urge to message the boys back home about the great rack that he was now, self-consciously staring at.

He had to consciously, and grudgingly, stop himself from staring. The voyeuristic appeal was not fed by nudity as much as the sense of normalcy of this interaction, that held his gaze as well as his imagination. The group would inevitably not see it that way, so he returned his gaze to her. Once again observing the movement of her chest as she breathed. A bead of sweat caught his eye as it slid gently from her erect nipple, into her modest cleavage. For a moment, he imagined what she might look like with tanned C cups. They had spoken about the size of her breasts many times and even about having them enlarged. She had shared how insecure she felt in certain circumstances and why she did not see herself as “sexy”. She said that ideally, she would like to move up one size, to a B or maybe even a C cup or “something that will at least hold up an off-the-shoulder evening dress and not slip right off”. Having guiltily studied the attractive French woman to their right he finally felt like he understood what she was saying.

What an absurdity. Obsessing over flesh covered mammary glands whose primary purpose was the nourishment of the infant child. Perhaps men don’t really ever grow up? Why had he been so excited at the thought of her taking her bikini top off? How much of the thrill related to the breaking of a social taboo even though that invisible rule did not exist on the French Riviera.

She opened her eyes, sat up, and quickly covered herself. He laughed at the absurdity of the action. She asked if he was happy now that she had tanned topless, emphasizing that it had been for his enjoyment.

He thought for a moment. Yes, it had been something, and in the context of the plague nue, it had been nothing.

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